B’ Gosh! ‘Tis nearly time for the parade
The time's approaching for all folks again to be Irish for a day. And there's no better way to warm up for St. Patrick's Day than to participate in Tonganoxie's 13th annual St. Patrick's Day parade.
The festivities get under way at 10 a.m. March 11, according to parade organizer John McCaffrey. The parade, always held on the Saturday before St. Patrick's Day, will commence at the swimming pool, head over to Fourth Street, then west down Fourth to Church Street.
This year, parade-goers will have the opportunity to hear lots of music. Both the junior high school and high school bands will play, along with a group of bagpipers. Other entries are welcome.
"We're trying to get a lot of local people interested," said Debbie Breuer, another organizer.
At the conclusion of the parade, chapter AT of P.E.O. will host a lunch of corned-beef and cabbage or stew, as well as desserts. The lunch will run from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Congregational Church, 303 E. Fourth. Tickets are available at the door or in advance for $5 at local banks, at Evans Real Estate or from any member of chapter AT.
A limited quantity of sweatshirts and T-shirts has been printed to commemorate St. Patrick's Day 2000. Proceeds from the sale of shirts will be donated to the band for its trip next year. Long-sleeved T-shirts will sell for $12, and sweatshirts will sell for $15 at Community National Bank.
McCaffrey was among instigators of the first St. Patrick's Day parade in Tonganoxie.
"Some of the old-timers said we should have a St. Patrick's Day parade, and one morning, we got in our cars and headed down Fourth Street," McCaffrey said. "There were five cars."
Things have changed.
Some years, the parade has featured as many as 50 entries.
"It depends on the weather," McCaffrey said. "We had bad weather last year, and some of them dropped out on us."
As usual, the name of the grand marshal or grand leprechaun is being kept under wraps, McCaffrey said.
Businesses, groups and individuals are welcome to participate. For additional information or to enter the parade, call McCaffrey, 845-2172, or Breuer, 369-3715 or 369-0100.